from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- suffix Without; lacking: blameless.
- suffix Unable to act or be acted on in a specified way: dauntless.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- suffix Lacking (something)
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- A privative adjective suffix, denoting without, destitute of, not having; as witless, childless, fatherless.
Middle English -lesse, from Old English -lēas, from lēas, without; see leu- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English -lēas, from lēas ("devoid of"), from Proto-Germanic *lausaz. (Not related to less, which derives from *laisiz, *laisizô.) Cognate to German los, -los. (Wiktionary)